Colorado-Colorado Springs guard Blend Avdili drilled a 3-pointer with three seconds to play to cap a late rally and lift the Mountain Lions to a 77-74 win over Dixie State on Friday night inside the Gallogly Events Center. The loss, DSU’s third straight overall, dropped the Trailblazers to 4-6 overall, 2-4 in RMAC play.
Dixie State turned a 34-30 halftime lead into a commanding 52-42 advantage eight-plus minutes into the second half thanks in part to a 10-0 run. Julien Ducree kick-started the rally with a tip-in and free throw, while Dub Price connected on a 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper to give the Trailblazers their largest lead of the night.
DSU maintained at least a two-possession lead during the next nine minutes before a DaRaun Clark jumper pulled UCCS (7-5, 4-2 RMAC) to within three at 70-67 with 2:20 to play. The Blazers then answered with a Zach Frampton lay-in and two Dason Youngblood free throws to extend to a 74-68 cushion with 1:55 remaining.
However, that was the last time Dixie State scored as Clark cut the DSU lead in half with a layup and free throw, and a Brandon Malone trey drew UCCS even at 74-74 with 47 seconds left.
Matt Conway had a chance to give DSU the lead back, but his jumper caromed away with 26 seconds to go. UCCS cleared away the rebound and worked the clock down to less than 10 seconds before Avdili rolled off a pick and sank a tough 21-footer with two Trailblazer defenders in his face to give his side a three-point lead.
Dixie State had one more chance to tie the game and force overtime, but a Wade Miller 3-point heave from the right wing missed the mark at the final buzzer.
Conway led the Trailblazers with 24 points (one off his career high), with 15 of those points coming after halftime. Conway hit 8-of-12 from the floor and went a perfect 7-of-7 at the line to go with six rebounds.
Frampton also enjoyed a solid night as the sophomore guard poured in a career-high 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting with four assists, and Ducree finished with 12 points and three boards off the bench.Comment on this story
Dixie State shot 46.2 percent (24-of-52) from the floor, which included a 4-of-13 effort (.308) from the perimeter. DSU also went to the line 29 times, knocking down 22 of those attempts (.759) and outrebounded UCCS, 33-31.
Avdili scored 18 of his game-high 27 points in the second half, which included four of his five made 3-pointers (5-of-9 overall). As a team, UCCS hit 10-of-30 (.333) from beyond the arc and shot 46.4 percent (26-of-56) for the game.
Dixie State will quickly turn around to face RMAC co-leader Colorado School of Mines (9-3, 6-0 RMAC) on Saturday night in Golden. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.